The '''African Methodist Episcopal Church''', usually called the '''A.M.E. Church''', is a Black church|predominantly African-American Methodist
denomination based in the United States. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by black people
in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen (Reverend)|Richard Allen
, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists. Allen was consecrated its first bishop in 1816. It began with 8 clergy and 5 churches, and by 1846 had grown to 176 clergy, 296 churches, and 17,375 members. The 20,000 members in 1856 were located primarily in the North.
[James T. Campbell, ''Songs of Zion: The African Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States and South Africa'' (1995)] [A. Nevell Owens, ''Formation of the... ]